Posts Tagged ‘climate change’


06
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Letsgetenergized is making its return to champion Renewable Energy


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
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This prototype Electric Tram is being tested in China, it runs on white painted lines in the road. Its highly advanced batteries give it amazing serviceability and it carries over 300 people.

Everyday I’m sent examples of new ways of developing electric transport capabilities. From cars to aeroplanes the future is electric and combined with the enormous development of renewable energy we are entering a new fossil fuel free era.

We can dramatically reduce pollution which effects everyone of us going about our daily routine.

We can begin to reverse the worst forecasts of climate change and together make our Planet once again safe for the generations to come.

Join us in spreading the word that the UK should be taking a lead in developing renewable energy and of course majoring on moving from petrol/diesel powered transport to electric or eventually even hydrogen.

None of our political parties are focussing on renewable energy or climate change the most important issues of our times. Hold your potential MP’s locally to account and make commitments of support on both subjects.

Our commitment is clear, to the Planet, to landscape, to people and of course to the Natural World.

Tell us your own stories about installing solar, buying an electric car anything that will give confidence to other people thinking of making changes.

Forward our website details to all your friends, relatives and colleagues. Lets shout about this new energy and really get the show on the road here in the UK.https---blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com-uploads-card-image-499014-01beaa53-bfe5-4474-adef-a6a4a3fc0533



29
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Is this PR or a real time to re-think energy policy


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,


We have an amazing opportunity to say No to Nuclear and Hinkley Point B and focus on a future that embraces renewable energy and builds a sustainable future for us all.

Please read on:

 

LEADING ARTICLE
july 29 2016, 12:01am, the times
No Point in Hinkley
Alternatives to the large-scale nuclear power station planned for Somerset are now so numerous that the government should cut its losses and start again

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Hours after the French energy giant EDF gave final approval for its investment in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station last night, the government put the project under review. It was right to do so. The EDF decision is the wrong one for British consumers, Britain’s energy infrastructure and for the company itself. As part of a sensible overhaul of this country’s energy strategy for the next half-century, taking into account fast-changing renewable technologies that could render fossil fuels obsolete within a generation, Hinkley Point needs to be scrapped.
The twin reactors planned for the Somerset site would constitute the biggest and most expensive nuclear power station in the world. Their combined capacity would power five million homes and help to make up a shortfall that the National Grid already has to remedy by paying inflated prices to existing power producers. But EDF’s design is unproven and unaffordable. The project as a whole is too dependent on Chinese investment. Even EDF is not wholly behind it. Last year its chief financial officer resigned rather than support it. Yesterday a board member quit for the same reason.

Hinkley Point C was supposed to produce electricity from next year. The earliest date now envisaged is 2025. If that were plausible the project might still be worth considering. In reality two plants of the same design now under construction in Finland and France are years behind schedule and billions over budget after a series of technical problems. Two more in China have been built faster and more cheaply but have yet to enter service.

EDF has modified the design for France’s own modernisation plans. It is absurd to persist with the discredited version at Hinkley Point, especially when there are so many alternatives.

The US, Japan and Britain’s own Rolls-Royce produce smaller nuclear reactors that could fit more flexibly and much less expensively into our future energy mix. Gas-powered stations can be built in as few as two years once planning requirements have been met, and are the cleanest, most efficient bridge to a low-carbon supply as Britain’s last coal-powered plants are phased out.

Most auspiciously, recent advances in artificial photosynthesis offer the prospect of a solar power revolution that is likely to pull renewables from the fringe to the centre of the energy industry within the lifetime of any nuclear plant under construction today. Last month a team from Harvard announced a breakthrough towards “artificial leaves” that can produce liquid fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide — as plants do, but with up to ten times the efficiency. A second project, at the University of Illinois, has achieved the same trick with low-cost catalysts built into solar panels producing burnable gas rather than electricity. The process solves the energy storage problem that conventional solar power can only address with batteries.

Artificial photosynthesis has long been seen as a holy grail of energy science because its output is carbon-neutral and its input, the sun, is limitless. Its commercialisation will take time, but that of traditional solar panels is far advanced. Falling in price by an average of 10 per cent a year, they are expected to produce a fifth of the planet’s power within a decade.

Energy planners must be nimble enough to embrace these new technologies. To proceed with Hinkley Point C instead is to be held hostage to a design that is outdated before it is built and will never be commercially viable. The strike price agreed by Britain for EDF is twice the current wholesale price for electricity. The evidence suggests that Britain and France are pressing ahead with Hinkley Point C to save the blushes of successive governments that put their faith in it without paying enough attention to its many flaws. Shame on them.



21
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Have Carnival Fun and also help to save carbon emissions


Category: Community Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


PRESS RELEASE

Count On Me – Community Campaign at Winton Carnival

Everyone is welcome to help us collectively save 50,000 kgs of our personal carbon emissions by the weekend of 25th June 2016 for the Winton Carnival Parade and ongoing. This is like filling the Bournemouth Balloon five times over!

It would be great if Bournemouth could lead the behavioural shift needed in dealing with our changing climate. Cleaner vehicles and renewable energy, in addition to our conscious personal choices will help preserve our beautiful town, country and world!

Count On Me is a local community campaign and more details can be found on our website www.countonme.today (with Twitter and Facebook links). We are inviting the people of Bournemouth to choose one or more sustainable activities like riding a bike, taking public transport, or growing your own fruit and vegetables.  Any activity where you reduce your carbon emissions is helpful.  Please tell us about it #CountOnMe to be counted!

We will be having some fun and parading in Winton Carnival with our live human counter, and you can come and chat to us after the parade on the Winton Recreation ground and find out about the simple ways we can all make a difference.

More info at www.countonme.today Email countonmebmth@gmail.com

Or please contact Angela Fendley 07719 093530



04
MAY

Vince Adams says:
Immigration and the future, don’t let Brexit fool you


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


This report identifies how immigration trends will develop during the coming years and why the recent problems with Syrian refugees are just the tip of a huge movement of people unless we tackle Climate Change urgently.

It highlights the need for working closely together with our European partners to develop strategies that really do begin to address the key problem and how climate change will change the whole face of where people live and work.

80 days at 114 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit is probably too many for most people to endure and that is a likely scenario for summers in parts of the Middle East and North Africa thirty to fifty years from now. That means 500 million people or more will need to move. Where they will go is an interesting question.

 

“More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa — a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970. “In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy,” says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth’s temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.

By mid-century, 80 instead of 16 extremely hot days

In addition, the duration of heat waves in North Africa and the Middle East will prolong dramatically. Between 1986 and 2005, it was very hot for an average period of about 16 days, by mid-century it will be unusually hot for 80 days per year. At the end of the century, up to 118 days could be unusually hot, even if greenhouse gas emissions decline again after 2040. “If humankind continues to release carbon dioxide as it does now, people living in the Middle East and North Africa will have to expect about 200 unusually hot days, according to the model projections,” says Panos Hadjinicolaou, Associate Professor at the Cyprus Institute and climate change expert.

Atmospheric researcher Jos Lelieveld is convinced that climate change will have a major impact on the environment and the health of people in these regions. “Climate change will significantly worsen the living conditions in the Middle East and in North Africa. Prolonged heat waves and desert dust storms can render some regions uninhabitable, which will surely contribute to the pressure to migrate,” says Jos Lelieveld.

The research team recently also published findings on the increase of fine particulate air pollution in the Middle East. It was found that desert dust in the atmosphere over Saudi Arabia, Iraq and in Syria has increased by up to 70 percent since the beginning of this century. This is mainly attributable to an increase of sand storms as a result of prolonged droughts. It is expected that climate change will contribute to further increases, which will worsen environmental conditions in the area.

In the now published study, Lelieveld and his colleagues first compared climate data from 1986 to 2005 with predictions from 26 climate models over the same time period. It was shown that the measurement data and model predictions corresponded extremely well, which is why the scientists used these models to project climate conditions for the period from 2046 to 2065 and the period from 2081 to 2100.

Largest temperature increase in already hot summers

The researchers based their calculations on two future scenarios: The first scenario, called RCP4.5, assumes that the global emissions of greenhouse gases will start decreasing by 2040 and that the Earth will be subjected to warming by 4.5 Watt per square meter by the end of the century. The RCP4.5 scenario roughly corresponds to the target set at the most recent UN climate summit, which means that global warming should be limited to less than two degrees Celsius.

The second scenario (RCP8.5) is based on the assumption that greenhouse gases will continue to increase without further limitations. It is therefore called the “business-as-usual scenario.” According to this scenario, the mean surface temperature of the Earth will increase by more than four degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

In both scenarios, the strongest rise in temperature in the Middle East and North Africa is expected during summer, when it is already very hot, and not during winter, which is more common in other parts of the globe. This is primarily attributed to a desert warming amplification in regions such as the Sahara. Deserts do not buffer heat well, which means that the hot and dry surface cannot cool by the evaporation of ground water. Since the surface energy balance is controlled by heat radiation, the greenhouse effect by gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor will increase disproportionately.

Regardless of which climate change scenario will become reality: both Lelieveld and Hadjinicolaou agree that climate change can result in a significant deterioration of living conditions for people living in North Africa and the Middle East, and consequently, sooner or later, many people may have to leave the region”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.



18
MAR

Vince Adams says:
Time for us all to face the truth and do something about it


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags: ,


Keith Wheaton Green speaks with such personal understanding and eloquence regarding our continued Denial of the most obvious. Is it really just total selfishness by a few who hold back everyone of us and generations to come after us ??

 

Someone in denial obviously can’t see the truth even when the evidence is all around them. I believe I have only been in denial once in my lifetime to date – when a loved one was dying but I refused to believe it even though everyone around me understood the truth. Obviously, denial has no impact on the inevitable. And so it is with climate change. It can be difficult to accept the truth when it affects cosy lives or  world views. Change, or the perception that things will change can be uncomfortable.

I saw this discomfort last week when – yet again – I attended a planning determination for a wind farm in Dorset, this time on the outskirts of Dorchester. The proposed six large (giant?) turbines would produce the annual equivalent of Dorchester’s electrical consumption. That British paranoia with wind was on show yet again. Fifty three of us speakers (for and against) were each given a firm maximum of three minutes. Everything and everyone was polite and professional. The surprise for me was the fact there appeared to be more speakers in support than against the turbines. I haven’t seen this before. Again and again, speakers were passionate and eloquent. People of all ages – even several living in sight of the turbines – expressed a desire to see beautiful turbines. Comments included “turbine installation is reversible, climate change is not, our selfishness is leaving a poisonous legacy to our children, this is the last turbine application in Dorset and our last opportunity to do the right thing, landscape impact of the turbines is dwarfed by the new residential developments of Poundbury and Charlton Down.”

I think the floods of the last three years, the fact that the 15 hottest years on record were during the last 16 years and the uncharacteristically warm, daffodil blooming December 2015 has led to the penny having dropped. Dorchester seems to have a surprising wealth of well-informed people.

However, the planning establishment are wedded to the concept of “landscape harm” and their professional (?!) opinion was that this outweighed the benefit of renewable energy generation. The case officer spent most of his presentation time explaining that harm, with only a passing mention of the schemes benefits. I would say he was in denial of the benefits and the degree of public support. He was not alone. One speaker erroneously stated that there had been no global warming since 2000 and that wind turbine saved no carbon emissions because of the back-up generation required. There were many other statements made that were simply not true. Denial of reality to keep themselves in the cosy zone of their imagined reality.

Councillors had evidently already made up their minds and voted 6 to 3 to reject the application with little discussion. There is no prospect of an appeal to our wind turbine hating government.

Our government is also evidently in denial. Despite David Cameron speaking with apparent passion in support of the firm targets to reduce carbon emissions in Paris, and his statement that Britain was “already leading the way in work to cut emissions,”  the current trajectory to reduce UK emissions is dire. Thanks to previous DECC ministers, Eds Milliband and Davey, we did indeed show leadership up until election of our current government. The introduction of the feed in tariff in 2009 and the renewable heat incentive in 2011 led to impressive expansion in renewables. Wind now regularly supplies around 14% of electrical demand (and is not as intermittent as you might think) and photovoltaics show up as a significant reduction of midday demand. (If you don’t believe me, have a look at the excellent gridwatch.templar website where you will find up to the minute and historical easy to understand data.) However, our current government cannot claim responsibility.

Here is a list of what they have done to halt our progress;

  • Closed the Renewables Obligations 12 months early
  • Closed the ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CfDs) to onshore wind (which aimed to support new investment in all forms of low-carbon generation and to offer price stabilization.)
  • Removed Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) pre-accreditation and implemented a wholesale review of FiT with expectation that it could be scrapped entirely.
  • Changed  planning laws for Renewable Energy, making the rules significantly different from shale gas
  • Removed renewable electricity from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption
  • Accepted that the whole of South West England has no grid access for renewable energy
  • Removed tax breaks for small community-led projects.

And no one can deny that.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "David Saunders long term guru of renewable energy comments on Keith’s article “Nice article, lovely to see your passion, and worrying of course to know it’s against the stream of government thinking. I attended a public economics lecture at Bristol University last night, on ’the one thing that would change everything’. Beautifully and clearly arguing that if polluters pay the real costs of pollution, rather than externalise them, it would put everything right – meaning climate change. He dismissed 4 or 5 other approaches including a magic techno fix, and said he’d expect to get questions on the alternatives, which gave me the chance to ask one… And I was fresh from Regen SW’s much-smaller-than-last-year-because-of-the-cuts Smart Energy day in Exeter. I’d been practicing my future-of-energy-in-two-diagrams on various of the attendees and exhibitors, while picking up ideas for the shared renewable energy systems that we want to be planning for our bale-build-community-led-hopefully-very-affordable-cohousing projects. So I framed the question by saying that I’m actually rather skeptical (based on long experience, plus observation of the Thatcher and Cameron governments) about us being able to persuade the government to legislate to tell us to do the right thing, even post-Paris, and especially in light of recent moves – like the elimination of the petroleum production tax in the budget which is hardly aimed at reducing emissions. So can I ask a question about a technology solution? Given permission, I pointed out my thesis that solar was following a Moore’s law curve (and at Exeter yesterday, people were agreeing, and no longer putting up the ‘but the energy companies will fight it all the way’ argument, if only because they already have been fighting it all the way, and what we’ve achieved is in spite of that opposition). And it is significant – solar has grown by a factor of ten three times in the last 21 years, in roughly eight, then seven, and then six years respectively. Halving its cost each time, to the point where – in 2014 – it supplied one percent of world electricity, and is lowering grid prices for energy, with or without subsidies. Given this, I said that doing all you can to reduce pollution, or charge people for making it, is a fine ambition. But what if you replace pollution with something that ACTUALLY COSTS LESS and does not pollute? And what if that replacement, whether it’s a techno fix or not, and whatever timescales they may have been talking about in Paris around 2030, 2040 or 2050, is on target to produce ten percent of our electrical energy in 6 years or less, and then
    one hundred percent in a few years more? Because it will have shut down a whole bunch of the polluting energy sources, and replaced our current electricity supply with something far cheaper? Wouldn’t that be alright? He said “I have just two words for you – ‘I agree.’ “. And then slipped into a kind of precautionary ‘do both’ reply, with which I have no problem whatsoever – though as you are pointing out Keith, the likelihood of our present government legislating to promote the right things seems both microscopic, and receding. He was helpful enough to mention the issue of storage being something we’d have to work on for solar, giving me the opportunity come back and say something about that. Fortunately I had already discussed the issue of storage in the gas grid earlier in the day with a Wales and West Energy guy. Rather than shutting down the gas grid to stop methane emissions – which they recognise has to happen some time – they are already thinking about switching it to hydrogen instead of methane, made from hydrolysis using excess summer solar energy. In Germany, the gas grid has three months worth of national energy demand in storage capacity – so it is already a massive, low cost storage solution. I summarised and shared this information at the lecture, and got another ‘I agree’ from the lecturer, and was shortly afterwards surrounded by students as the questioning ended and the lecture started to disperse, and had a fun chat with some of them. It was very sweet, actually, to find that an old geezer who had been a bit of a nerd for most of his life, could find lots of common ground with today’s young people. And my point is?… Whatever our governments are doing or saying, it is a truism that politicians are at best generalists, and not in touch with real trends and or solutions in areas in which they are supposed to be expert. (And only a truism, not the fiull truth – there are smart politicians, and politicians who aren’t in the pockets of vested interests). But it does make it uphill work talking with politicians. If it’s around getting permission for wind farms, that becomes a problem. But if it’s around putting solar on most roofs that can take it, there’s no need to have that conversation, and eventually they come round to your point of view, because it’s so obviously working, and there’s no way for them to stop you. Except, of course, that by virtually removing feed in tariffs, they have done their utmost to stop solar dead in its tracks, and stop the next tenfold increase in the UK. Which would, incidentally, take us from 8Gw, to 80Gw, which is quite a lot more than our peak daytime electricity demand, and takes us well into the territory where nuclear is long dead (whatever the cleanup cost) and storage has become the issue, and by which time, switching the gas grid from methane to hydrogen will have become a well-discussed and understood topic, and we’ll be working towards it – hopefully. It’s the least cost solution so it should be a no brainer for people owning gas grids to switch to hydrogen. Renewables have already demonstrably caused a lowering of grid wholesale prices, and only solar has the ability to halve its cost again, and then one more time again. Meaning a wholesale price for energy around 1p to 2p per unit? That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Whether we manage to get this to reduce prices for energy end users is up to us – communities have to own the solar generation, and distribution as well, for this to happen There’s no reason why not – or, rather, there’s every reason why not, as it will go against vested interests, and the need for corporations to continually increase profits in a growth economy. SO. In just two diagrams and far less time than it took me to write this, and even less time than it took you to read this (if you’ve been kind enough to do so) we have a complete solution to our energy problems. Abundant, cheap, secure, 100% renewable year-round energy. There’s plenty that could be said to flesh it out, and fill in the evidence base to support the logic, as well as fill in the steps that get us from here to there. But the bottom line is it’s pretty simple, and almost absolutely unstoppable – as with Moore’s law in electronics, it did not need government legislation to get super powerful smartphones in everyone hands, and reduce the cost of storage from £600 for 40 megabytes (my first hard disk drive in or around 1992) to £199 for 8 terabytes (my latest, which would have cost £120,000,000 at 1992 prices). Similarly, government can’t stop the growth of the solar economy, because economics itself drives the change – but government could help the development of the solar hydrogen economy. Once Hinckley C is dead (or, rather, once it is recognised as dead) there’s no reason for government not to go for this. Discuss? Tough about the wind, and cost of nuclear cleanup, but no worries about the long term renewable future. And the ‘long term’ is a lot sooner than governments imagine – see above…” "

    March 18, 2016 a 4:40 pm


18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Why not use UK coal instead of imports


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Today’s closure of the last coal mine in Britain got me to think why ?

Why throw good men and true out of their lifetime of working there when we still have a requirement to use coal. Sure its being phased out which for me as an advocate for renewables in a great step forward but in the interim we still have coal powered power stations in use.

My understand is that we will be importing millions of tonnes of coal from around the World adding senseless cost to the process in terms of travel, people and our own resiliance.

The local Conservative MP when questioned about the closure blamed everything on renewables. That showed a total lack of understanding and highlighted the problem we have with our present Government.

He should have said, we believe that if its cheaper to import coal then who gives a sod for the few remaining miners and their families. He even called Wind Power as ineffectice as a chocolate fire guard in supplying energy, which is total nonsense. His consituents should seriously question his understanding of climate change and the need to develop clean energy and the huge part that wind power has to play.

So over Christmas spare a thought for the people in Yorkshire effected by the closure and wish them all good speed in finding work and futures for them and their families.

They will succeed but wow why do we make it so difficult.

 

Oh and how ironic that this week the Commons passed the Bill allowing fracking exploration to continue, hey ho

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35124077



11
FEB

Erik Blakeley says:
The Bird


Category: Climate Change
Tags:


He could have moved the Bird

I was reading recently that a senior American politician from the Climate sceptic camp seriously suggested that anthropogenic Climate Change couldn’t possibly exist because God wouldn’t permit anything as trivial as human GHG emissions to interfere with His world http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2013/12/creationists_and_climate_change_political_union_of_science_critics.html .

I understand that there is a real debate especially within the Evangelical Christian movement as to whether we live in an age of miracles or whether miracles are just a feature of biblical times. I recently asked pretty seriously whether Eric Pickles, an Evangelical Christian, was expecting a miracle to solve the Climate Change problem given his attitude to wind farm planning applications.

My attitude to miracles is that He could have moved the bird! What do I mean? Well let’s take a fictional but typical example of a “miracle”. A plane is taking off from an international airport with 150 people on board. It strikes a bird and, because it is so close to the ground, the resulting damage is enough to cause the plane to crash before the pilot can react. 149 people die horribly in the flaming wreckage but one small baby is thrown clear and survives albeit as an orphan with nasty burns. The baby comes from one particular faith group who hail this as a miracle (“Praise the Lord!”) If challenged they say something like “What were the chances of the baby surviving it must be a miracle!” Arguing over the probabilities isn’t my objection to the notion of this sort of event as a miracle. I reject this sort of thing as a miracle because God could have just moved the bird 100m to the right or left so that the accident didn’t happen at all and no negative outcome would have resulted except one slightly disorientated bird who would quickly work out where he was and carry on with his life as before. It seems to me that there are only two possible explanations for this. The first is that it was no miracle. It was just that when you live in a world so surrounded by bad stuff, then eventually, however unlikely, a few good things come along. The second is that God is so obnoxious that, when faced with the choice of two miracles involving very similar tweaks to the laws of physics, one that will save one life and one that will save 151 lives, He will pick option A because option B doesn’t give Him the same publicity.

Some may think this is either a silly point or one disrespectful of God and/or peoples’ faith but remember we are talking about the politics of the American religious right who are simultaneously driving both the climate change denial agenda and such things as the campaigns to force schools to teach creationism alongside or even instead of evolution. They are driving those agendas remarkably successfully. When we consider the possible outcomes of climate change some of the worst case scenarios seem too terrible to contemplate even if we don’t believe that God would step in to help us. We say “What are the chances of catastrophic anthropogenic Global Warming? Surly that isn’t likely.” By the way you know that you are reaching the last bastion of climate change denial when the sceptic starts talking not about “Global Warming” or “Anthropogenic Global Warming” but about “Catastrophic, Anthropogenic Global Warming” or CAGW. It is true that we cannot be certain when or if CAGW will kick in due to tipping points and the range of possible sensitivities of the system to CO2 concentration, but we can be certain that there is a probability that it will occur, that that probability is significant and that it is far higher than the probability that no further Anthropogenic Global Warming will occur if we continue with business as usual. I suggest that, with due respect, if God was going to get us out of this fix he would have done so quietly and subtly long before now and we wouldn’t be having this debate. We need to act now not waste time arguing about the exact probabilities!



02
FEB

Lets Get Energized says:
February Prize Draw: Win a place at the STIR Into Action Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops worth £75


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


Last month in our prize draw we were offering 1 year subscription to the fantastic inspirational living magazine STIR so…

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAWN CANNING who has just been picked as our latest winner! Dawn can enjoy 4 copies of STIR delivered in print, straight to her door, for FREE!

This month we’ve got another great prize for all our subscribers…

STIRWorkshopslogo

STIR Into Action Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops

6th & 7th June 2015, 10am – 5pm
Chapel in the Garden, Bridport, Dorset

Stir To Action presents a six-month programme of training workshops in Bridport, Dorset to build the co-operative capacity of local communities. These workshops introduce participants to new tools, innovative strategies and the practices that can enable us to face up to climate change, financial crises and the other social problems we currently experience.

Renewable energy co-operatives have taken off in the UK over the last few years as people work together to take power generation back into their own hands. Sharenergy is a co-operative helping people around the UK set up renewable energy projects funded by community share offers – from solar roofs to £1m wind turbines, from community heating to hydro projects. In these workshops, facilitated by Jon Hallé, you’ll learn all about the renewable energy technologies and what it takes to make them happen. Bring your ideas, learn from what is working elsewhere, and take the next big steps to getting power to the people set up in your area.

Jon Hallé has been working with renewable energy co-ops since 2003 and has been involved with many successful new models (and some instructive failures). He is a cofounder (with Eithne George) of Sharenergy, which has supported over 100 community renewable energy projects, including the UK’s first heat co-op, Scotland’s first 100% co-op owned wind turbine, and plenty of other interesting projects across the technologies and scales. Before that he was a programmer, waste oil biodiesel maker and environmental activist.

Lunch is included sourced from local co-operative food producers and members of the Landworkers Alliance, and it will all be cooked in a Wonderbag non-electric slow cooker.

This workshop place is worth £75 and we hope will inspire our lucky winner to take some of these alternatives back to your own community or organisation!

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 28th February 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 2nd March.

Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

10% off all STIR Into Action Workshops

Lets Get Energized e-newsletter subscribers can also enjoy 10% off all STIR Into Action workshops! Once you’ve signed up to enter the prize draw and join our mailing list (if you haven’t already) simply quote ‘Energized’ before booking. View their full range of workshops from Ethical Tea Blending, to Citizen Journalism to ‘Craftivism’ at: http://stirtoaction.com/workshop



17
JAN

Erik Blakeley says:
What Pause in Global Warming?


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


What Pause in Global Warming?

I have recently been engaged in frankly a rather pointless online debate with a Climate Change Denier that took too much of my time and showed no signs of being read by anyone else but the pair of us and he seemed entirely brainwashed by Denial propaganda, incapable of engaging with the basic science behind the issue and much preferred to just regurgitate the classic Denial nonsense. However it did prompt me to look again at one of the most important Climate Change Denial claims – the claim that there has been a pause in global warming since 1998. Now I thought this was just a case of one of those statistical blips and deviations from the trend line that you would expect in a set of scientific data covering over a century but on digging deeper I found that it is in fact such a mendacious misrepresentation of scientific data that it amounts to a huge lie by the Denial propagandists. Let me explain why.

The measurements cited by the Deniers are those that show that the mean surface temperature of the planet in 1998 is very much the same as it was in 2011-2013 based on findings by Prof Matt England of the University of New South Wales. Now, at first glance this seems very reasonable as a bit of data suggesting a pause in global warming but this is not the case.

Firstly is the surface temperature in isolation a reliable measure of “global warming”? No it is not. The planet can also warm as the deep oceans absorb heat, as the upper atmosphere absorbs heat and as heat is absorbed as the latent heats of fusion and vapourisation when ice decreases and the atmosphere carries more water vapour. These combined effects vary in their relative contribution to the overall global warming and therefore to claim that a pause or even a reversal in the data for any one of them in isolation means that global warming has stopped is false.

Secondly, it has always seemed to me odd that the Deniers are often so specific about there not having been any global warming since 1998. Not since the late 90s, not since 1997 and not since 1999. Why is 1998 special? It turns out it is. Not only can the deep oceans absorb heat, it appears that under certain conditions relating to winds and currents they can push heat back to the surface. This means that over and above the sort of natural spread of data discussed earlier some years can be warmer in terms of surface temperature than others regardless of the presence or absence of global warming. 1998 was a warm year. Therefore, if you specifically take 1998 as your base-line then the 15 years after it give data that either shows lower or broadly similar surface temperatures. If however you don’t cheat in this way the trend line, even in surface temperature in isolation, is in keeping with the predictions of climate change science.

Finally if you google “prof Matt England University of New South Wales” you will find some Climate Change Denial websites slagging him off because, much to their annoyance, he has spent quite a bit of time since publishing his data (perfectly good data in itself it turns out) telling people that Global Warming has not stopped and his data is being misrepresented.

So next time some Denier or wind NIMBY tells you that there has been no Global Warming in the last 15 years tell them they are talking rubbish!

I will leave the last word to Prof England in a quote I found on-line:
“Global warming has not stopped. People should understand that the planet is a closed system. As we increase our emissions of greenhouse gases, the fundamental thermal dynamics tells us we have added heat into the system. Once it’s trapped, it can go to a myriad of places – land surface, oceans, ice shelves, ice sheets, glaciers for example.”


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "As a post script I have just heard confirmation that 2014 was the warmest on record. Of course it is tempting to say “See global warming is back – 2014 is the proof” but of course the 2014 figures on their own are not proof. They do however act to confirm the upwards trend line and, combined with all the other factors that need considering make it very clear that global warming never stopped. We must nail this question of whether it is right to read too much into individual peaks and troughs. If we don’t the Climate Change Deniers will simply abuse the 2014 figures in the same way they abused the 1998 figures. It is very likely that 2015, 2016 etc will not be higher than 2014. This does not mean that global warming has stopped again. We need to keep looking at all of the factors and at the long term trend lines in those factors. "
    January 19, 2015 a 9:14 am


17
DEC

Erik Blakeley says:
Renewable Energy Salesmen?


Category: Climate Change, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


Renewable Energy Salesmen?

I used to think that the climate change deniers paid for by big fossil firms and anti-renewable  NIMBYs were the worst threats to progress in the fight to cut emissions of GHGs and slow Climate Change but I have recently come across possibly a more sinister and depressing opponent – the Renewable Energy snake oil salesman! These people, either through genuine but misguided enthusiasm or through a malicious wish to fool people into investing in schemes that are about as likely to bear fruit as chocolate teapot manufacture, come up with a way off piste suggestion for a grandiose scheme to solve all of our energy and climate change worries. Now don’t get me wrong I am all in favour of “out of the box” or “blues sky” thinking, but they go straight from some vaguely worked out concept diagram to claims that all further investment in wind or PV or any other low carbon technology are now redundant and pointless. They are one step further into lunacy than the magic bullet salesmen who think that one of the current technologies, be it wind or PV or nuclear, is a one size fits all answer to all our problems.

Why are they so bad? Well at some point they are going to try to persuade people who are concerned about the problems of Climate Change and Energy Security to invest money in these schemes, money that could be invested in home insulation, roof top PV or community wind or hydro projects for example. At least the NIMBYs and climate change deniers are only trying to persuade people to ignore the science and the need for action. The snake oil salesmen nobble the people who have been persuaded to care. They cannot do what is sensible which is to propose an idea for development and try to get universities or industry to make small scale investments to produce trial prototypes or even just to put their ideas out for peer review because they know full well that they will be rejected as deeply flawed or just physically or economically impossible. Instead they launch some small development company and produce a flash looking sales video on U-tube purporting to be a “lecture” on the merits of their scheme and then try to get money out of small investors or crowdfunding. These people are only one step removed from the guy who sold empty plastic boxes with car radio aerials glued to the outside as bomb detectors.

The other really bad thing that they do is to give ammunition to those who oppose wind turbines or PV farms because they suggest that we don’t need to deploy the current crop of well-developed technologies because there is some magic wand solution just around the corner if only the mainstream scientific and industrial cartel will stop suppressing these wonderful inventions. When challenged the snake oil salesman will readily claim to be the victim of conspiracies and prejudice – they can be quite paranoid.

New technologies will come along and in 50 to 100 years we will almost certainly be deploying a markedly different mix of low carbon technologies than we are today but for now we need to deploy as much as possible of the good range of well-developed kit as we possibly can. Universities and big business can pursue the blue sky stuff and take the financial risk. If you have a few hundred or even a few thousand to invest put it into something established and don’t be taken in by the snake oil salesmen!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "I was talking to a friend this week and he said that quietly Countries all over the World were making amazing progress turning from old energy solutions towards Renewables whereas the UK appeared to be dragging its feet.
    This headline caught my eye and I wondered, is that the reason why ? Does UK big business have far to much influence ? “Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency” How do we ensure that the UK is not left behind ? "

    December 17, 2014 a 6:07 pm


05
NOV

Erik Blakeley says:
Carbon Capture & Storage


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency
Tags: , , ,


Carbon Capture & Storage

This is interesting:

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/defiant-coal-industry-pushes-emissions-cleanup-research-in-face-of-ipcc-report-20141103-11gag2.html

Whilst I do see some scope for CCS as a transition tactic there are two really important factors that the coal industry doesn’t seem to be tackling:

1. The coal industry has been talking about CCS and Clean coal for over a quarter of a century and has done little about it. They will only do something about it if governments force them to do so and they have resisted all attempts at carbon taxes or suitably biting environmental protection legislation.

2. The GHG problem is a stock problem not a flow problem. I came across this concept in a book by an employee of Shell in which he pushed CCS as a major part of the solution. The down side of this is that 20% or 50% reductions in GHG emissions do nothing but delay catastrophe. In order to avert eventual disaster we need to achieve almost 100% reductions in GHG emissions which means that fossil fuels with CCS can only form a small part of the long term energy mix as the practical limitations of finding storage of all our CO2 emissions from the current or even greater usage of fossil fuels would be, in all likelihood, impossible to overcome. This is another reason why the NIMBY fixation on how much RE will get us to the 2020 targets is so stupid and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "As a kid in 1950 we had Pea-Souper fogs in London, result coal was made to go smoke free and it happened over a very short time. The pea supers vanished and all was well.
    Now we want Clean Coal so why can’t we just say do it or we use No Coal. Its as simple as that with political leadership. "

    November 5, 2014 a 6:26 pm


27
OCT

Erik Blakeley says:
Climate Change Deniers


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Climate Change Deniers

So right wingers are calling for us to ditch the Climate Change Act entirely and to stop making progress on decarbonisation unless it is matched by other countries. Sounds good? Sounds reasonable? Well No and No in my opinion.

It’s easy to say let’s not bother, let’s just go for the cheapest quickest option and to hell with the longer term consequences but sticking our heads in the sand won’t make those consequences go away. All these arguments hinge on what is likely to happen regarding Climate Change. We are all sceptical about individual scientific results after so many false scare stories about food or vaccinations etc etc but there is something different about the work of the IPCC. It doesn’t just look at one set of data from one scientist it has been looking at thousands of sets of data from huge numbers of scientists on all sides of the debate and has been returning to the data at regular intervals to incorporate new findings. This iterative process means that it rules out the occasional rogue set of results or biased experimentation. We can rely on the trends that the IPCC reports regarding the likely outcomes.

What the IPCC is saying is that scientists are more and more certain that the effects of Climate Change are real, dangerous and being initiated by human actions that we are in a position to modify and that we should be doing so. Climate Change deniers are on a par with believers in a flat Earth. They just refuse to accept anything that isn’t immediately obvious from their exceptionally limited vantage point or that upsets their preconceived assumptions. They grasp desperately at any individual piece of work that casts the tiniest doubt on the consensus opinion like the measurements that show that the recorded temperature figures over the last 15 years or so haven’t risen appreciably. They ignore all the other data such as the diminishing ice levels in the polar regions, the increasing occurrence of severe or extreme weather conditions, the changing pattern of the jet stream or the changing behaviour of flora and fauna in response to the changes in the timings of season changes. They ignore any logical explanation of their pet data that might still be compatible with the consensus view such as the suggestion that the oceans are acting as more of a buffer to temperature rise than we expected which, whilst it buys us some time to make the changes we need, does not mean that Climate Change and global warming do not exist.

The right wing economists suggesting that we do away with the Climate Change Act are like people who would rather burn all the furniture in their house than go out and chop some firewood in the yard. It’s certainly easier in the short term but doesn’t make much sense when you want to be able to sit down or go to bed in the future or need to pay for replacements for all the stuff you have ruined.

Is it reasonable to say that we shouldn’t do anything until we can get everyone else to agree? I think not for two main reasons. Firstly it is a false claim by the Climate Change deniers that the likes of India, China and the US are doing nothing. They are making significant efforts with renewable energy and new technologies and we actually need to try harder to keep up if we are to remain a country that makes much of its wealth by technical innovation. Secondly it is true China and India are also increasing their use of non-sustainable technologies but only because their per capita wealth and consumption is so much less than ours and they would like a richer and more affluent population. We cannot reasonably say that we will not lead the way on sustainable technologies unless we first get our per capita carbon footprint down to the level of India or China’s which I would suggest we need to do by advancing sustainable tech not by making ourselves poor.

The other thing that is being said is that we need to ditch the Act and reject renewable`s because “The lights might go out!” Well firstly I would argue that it is the anti-renewable campaigns that are stopping us building the scale and quantity of renewable capacity that is the problem here and a quick temporary fix through some dash for gas is not the answer. Secondly there is this unwritten assumption that the lights going out is the end of the world. If there were to be some limited phased outages during the 8pm winter peaks of demand during a couple of winters over the next few years would this really matter so much that we need to tear up our plans for long term improvements in favour of short term measures that will push us ever closer to real catastrophe? So you miss your favourate soap on broadcast TV and have to go to bed early. Hospitals and other vital services now have much better stand by generation due in part to the green incentives favouring CHP plants and old people’s homes are better insulated than they were due to the ECO schemes so a couple of hours without power won’t see the temperature drop excessively and you can always watch the program on your computer tomorrow. It is only the politicians who have made this an election losing issue who might suffer particularly if this were to happen. Lastly what are they suggesting doing that could come on line before these suggested outages in 2016-2020? About all we could do is build a few OCGT power plants of the sort that the anti-renewable lobby say are undoing any good that wind turbines do do because of the intermittency of wind. If we want to do something now we should be pushing ahead with the energy saving side of the “green crap” to keep demand down to the levels we can reach and keep building the sustainable low carbon capacity that we will need in the next decade as we reach the 2020 targets and progress beyond them toward true sustainability.

A relevant and interesting article can be found here: http://www.scoop.it/t/climate-change-science-risk-economics-sustainability


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Anna has a point but unfortunately the news today is full of further calls by Owen Paterson to ditch the Climate Change Act because the National Grid is mildy concerned that there may be power cuts this winter. Ironically the final straws have been the ongoing problems with several of the nuclear power stations and the fire at Didcot gas powered station. Its hard to see what the logic is as no large scale centralized plant can be built between now and Jan 15 unless it is already under construction. There might be some fossil fuel capacity being underused but using it isn’t illegal it just means buying out a larger proportion of the ROCs so there is no need to scrap the Climate Change Act to get a short term fix like that. There might be time to build a bit more dispersed capacity which gives us a choice of fast tracking some solar and wind or building a few inefficient Open Cycle Gas units or internal combustion gas units both of which would be very polluting, expensive to run and would in all likelihood commit us to widespread fracking if we intend to use them as anything but a few months stopgap. There are people who are only interested in the easiest way to make more money. To some degree we all feel that way and that is why the cliche “Its the Economy Stupid” entered common usage. Short term the cheapest way of dealing with the problems we face are probably the dirtiest. This is why the question of climate change does matter. It is the reason why it is worth paying more for rapid decarbonisation now because it will save us much higher costs and loads of suffering in the future. The big tobacco firms spent ages casting doubt on the links between smoking and cancer and telling young smokers why give up something you enjoy now just because there might be a risk many years in the future and we cannot even be certain that there is a risk. They manipulated and bent the science until it was no sort of truth all in the name of profits. Climate Change deniers are doing the same thing now and they have the added advantage that many of the people with power and influence probably won’t live to see the worst results of climate change. "
    October 28, 2014 a 9:19 am

  • Anna Celeste comments:
    "In a way I personally feel that it almost doesn’t matter whether people believe in climate change or not, or disagree about whether it is a natural phenomena or man-made or a bit of both – what matters is that we should all have the common sense to realise either way, we simply can not go on exhausting our planet of its natural resources like we are currently doing, there will be nothing left very soon, and we have to work in balance with nature which means harnessing energy sustainably i.e., from renewable energy sources – IF we cherish the earth, its animals, our people and the future of our own children and family that is. I think that is what matters and that it is worth fighting for : ) "
    October 27, 2014 a 2:30 pm


23
JUL

Lets Get Energized says:
Invitation to a Climate Change Workshop – Bridport


Category: Energy Events in Dorset
Tags: , ,


 Invitation to a Climate Change Workshop – Bridport

Dorset Communities Living Sustainably has arranged a workshop about climate change and severe weather on Wednesday 30 July at Bridport Town Hall, starting at 5.30pm (registration from 5pm). The workshop will finish no later than 8.45pm and a light buffet will be provided during the evening.

As you can see from the attached invitation, the workshop will be presented with a possible scenario (circulated in advance) about future sever weather events that the community could experience, which will be used as a basis how Bridport and West Bay could be affected and options for how we can adapt.

You can download the Workshop Invite .pdf  here: Workshop invitation 30July2014

image3079



20
DEC

Theresa McManus says:
Renewables keep household fuel bills lower than gas


Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , ,


Here’s some warming news for Winter!

RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has welcomed a report last week by the Committee on Climate Change which shows that generating energy from renewable sources will keep British household fuel bills lower than relying on expensive fossil fuels such as gas.

The CCC’s report highlights the fact that increases in gas prices drove household bills up by 62% between 2004 and 2011. In comparison, support for the entire spectrum of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, led to an increase of less than 10% over the same period.

Looking ahead, the Committee warns of the risks of focussing investment on unabated gas-fired generation, which it says could push household bills £600 higher in 2050 compared to relying on low-carbon sources of electricity.

The Committee also states that support for the entire range of low-carbon technologies will increase domestic bills by around £100 by 2020 (a 10% increase on the 2011 bill) – far lower than figures quoted in some media reports.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive, said:
“This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables, rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost, but gas has proved to be an extraordinarily volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources. The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas. The Chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small minority of less well-informed voices.”

The report came on the day that the Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, announced that shale gas would not contribute to the UK’s energy mix for some time to come, and that what he described as the “seismic risks” brought by shale would be subject to new controls.

Mr Davey said: “We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly. It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment”.

In the meantime I highly recommend you switch your electricity and gas supply to Good Energy’s 100% renewable energy today. I have been with them for at least 10 years now and they offer a very competitive tariff plus you can save £50 off your first bill by simple quoting ‘Dorset Energized’. Switch to Good Energy here: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers



20
DEC

Lets Get Energized says:
Tell the Prime Minister that Green Means Growth


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , ,


We know everyone is busy in the run-up to the Christmas holidays, but our local Friends of the Earth group have reminded us of a campaign by Action on Renewables to get David Cameron to stand up for green energy. It only takes a few seconds to join the call for a real commitment to clean renewable energy.

They have already had a great response, and if like hundreds of others you’ve already taken part in the campaign, thank you for your support!

If not, it takes less than a minute to add your support by following this link: www.actionforrenewables.org/greenmeansgrowth

The Government’s Energy Bill and Gas Strategy have now been published, but they’re missing something vital, a 2030 target to make sure we’re on course for cutting our carbon emissions.

Green means Growth. Low carbon energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s helping to get the UK economy get back on track.

In 2010-2011 over one third of economic growth came from our low carbon economy, things like the huge London Array offshore wind farm, community solar schemes like Wadebridge, or energy from farm waste.

Action on Renewables are calling on David Cameron to back a 2030 target. A 2030 target is vital to show the Government won’t pull back from the great start we’ve made in using our natural resources to create electricity in a few years time. Without it companies won’t invest, jobs won’t be created, and we’ll be locked into relying on the expensive imported fossil fuels that made up over 50% of people’s energy bills.

We want to make sure that the government prioritises our home-grown green energy sources like wind power, solar, and energy from waves and tides, boosting our flagging economy, bringing long term stability to fuel prices, all while reducing our carbon emissions and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. We have a chance to really change the way we power the UK.

If you want to get involved click: www.actionforrenewables.org/greenmeansgrowth



23
NOV

Nathan Shaw says:
The Energy Bill: Is the future green?


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , ,


After weeks of delays and political bickering, you could be forgiven to thinking that ‘the greenest government ever’ were taking the time to produce an Energy Bill that delivered clear energy policies whilst concentrating on lowering carbon emissions. But what was the outcome?

No 2030 decarbonisation target has been announced:

After months of attempts from the coalition to agree on this topic, a decision was made to delay any target until at least 2016. This opens the door to a ‘dash for gas’ favoured by George Osborne, and it was quietly announced that a Gas Generation Strategy will be released next month. According to the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), following this strategy will put our legally binding carbon budgets at risk increasing the chance of large scale fines.

Another problem arises from this short term solution to a long term problem. If a decarbonisation target was introduced in 2016, then newly built gas plants would need to be shut down early to ensure the target is reached. This would invoke a spike in gas prices and leave a hole in the energy mix – a substantial future problem that seems to have been side-lined.

This announcement also seemingly ignores the 50 companies, including Microsoft and Marks & Spencer, who signed a letter to George Osborne stating that they needed to see a decarbonisation target as a sign of commitment and stability from the government before investing in the UK.

Renewable Energy projects receive large subsidy boost:

In what was widely believed to be the product of a compromise on the decarbonisation target, significant funding has been cemented for investment in renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage – with the aim of a 30% contribution to the energy mix by 2020.

At least £7.6 bn a year will be available come 2020, to aid development through so-called contract for difference (CfD) incentives, a government initiative aimed at producing low carbon electricity projects. This will provide some consolation and certainty to investors that were hoping to see a decarbonisation target.

It will lead to further increases in energy bills, but these will largely be offset by efficiency gains. A strong, short-term investment now means we will reap the financial benefits in the long run.

Introduction of a capacity market:

This mechanism will provide additional payments to thermal plants that agree to supply back-up power as the UK becomes more reliant on intermittent energy sources. This is due to start in the winter of 2018-2019.

In conclusion, it feels like we are walking what is a 100m sprint. No decarbonisation targets mean there is a free rein on emissions over the next 4 years at least. With the gas strategy, the government have shied away from making tough decisions now which will benefit the country in the long run. Eventually every country will be reliant on renewables, so why not switch now and become a leading player? Yes, the clear intent from the government to invest in renewables is a major step forward but it might be some time before we see the benefits.

So is the future green? Let’s say its light green…

For something more inspiring and to take action TODAY, check out Dorset Energized’s web pages on choosing renewable energyswitching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.



23
NOV

Theresa McManus says:
Dorset Energized’s First Reaction to the Energy Bill


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


The Dorset Energized team have been waiting for the release of the Energy bill which is designed to encourage low carbon investment such as new windfarms.

We have been given that the Tories have been grappling with the lib dems and derailing all their plans for utopia from day 1 (remember proportional representation?). I guess it was only a matter of time before they put a spike in the wheel of their arch-enemies’ chariot – the world famous Climate Change Act introduced by Labour.

A few years ago I went to Whitehall with Tony Hamilton from Poole Agenda 21, where we were proposing that Climate Change is a planetary emergency that needs to be dealt with outside of party politics – a bit like the government during the last war. How visible does that emergency need to be before party idealogy can be put aside? Anyone notice the juxtaposition of news about the Energy Bill and the news about widespread flooding?

By deferring setting carbon targets, especially when those targets need to be front-end-loaded, just makes the overall aim of reducing our carbon emissions to 20% of what they were in 1990 so much more difficult to reach, especially when even the emissions the government have been reporting for the UK (which are not the whole picture) have shown a 20% increase since 1990.

All the more reason for people to start taking action by themselves!
We can all help to get the UK and the planet out of this mess.

Use less energy, use it more efficiently, and where you can generate renewable energy, and pester your MP to start taking your opinions on energy and climate change into account.

As a start, check out our pages on switching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I agree with Theresa’s comments its time for us to act if our Governments will not.
    Install renewables, don’t change to gas, turn to bio-mass etc
    Pester your local MP ask him what he thinks and ask him to come out publicly.
    Do everything to get this message out there and use this site to advise, help, offer hope for the future. "

    November 23, 2012 a 8:40 pm

  • Sophie comments:
    "There is a great link on the Greenpeace site I found which gives the lowdown on the Energy Bill in simple terms for people like me who find the whole thing baffling. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/energy-market-reform-six-things-you-need-know I switched to Good Energy this week through this site – so I can use my money personally to encourage low carbon investment. Can’t sit around waiting for the government to take action can we? "
    November 23, 2012 a 12:45 pm


08
NOV

Anna Celeste Watson says:
EvoEnergy’s Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide


Category: Biomass Energy, Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


I have stumbled across this fantastic website and wanted to share it with you!

A green electricity company called EvoEnergy have produced an interactive site (designed by Epiphany Search) to show how energy in the UK has changed over the last 40 years.

In 1980 when I was just a baby, Solid Fuel accounted for 36% and Petrol 37% for primary energy consumed, with Gas 22% and Electricity making up just 5%. After 30 years as of 2010 Gas use alone has nearly doubled and has risen up to a staggering 43%. Good news is that Petrol has reduced slightly to 32% and we now use Biomass as a renewable energy but that currently accounts for only a pathetic 3%.

It is very interesting to see the changes over the years (decade by decade) but we have a LOT more work to do – by 2020 I hope we’ll see a major increase in electricity specifically generated by renewable energy sources (including Wood Energy (Biomass), Solar Energy and Wind Power) with very little reliance (if any!) on petrol and gas. I guess the only way that will happen though is for us, the people – yes that includes me, you and your family – to make changes today and start investing in renewable energy for our future. At least to stop using petrol we now have supercool electric cars like the Nissan LEAF (not quite the personal ‘hoverpacks’ my Dad wants to be able to fly around with, but we’re getting nearer!). And of course if you do just 1 thing, you can simply switch to a green energy supplier such as Good Energy and be more energy efficient by using less energy in your home – to save energy, save money and feel more secure.

Have a play around on The Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide for yourself at: http://evoenergy.co.uk/uk-energy-guide


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Theresa comments:
    "The Evoenergy interactive guide is great. It would be lovely to have something similar that could represent personal energy use so that people could model making changes to see what the impact would be.
    I just wanted to add another suggestion for saving energy, which is to buy less stuff. Have a look at http://www.storyofstuff.org to see the story of stuff movie. It only takes 20 mins but it’s 20 mins of a roller coaster ride through the recent rise of consumerism – you will never look at a shop window in the same way again …:) "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:14 pm


07
NOV

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Take Part in Britain’s Biggest Climate Change Challenge for Climate Week March 2013


Category: Climate Change
Tags: ,


Dorset Energized are very excited to hear that plans are now underway for Climate Week 2013, and there are loads of ideas on the Climate Week website to inspire!

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 4 to 10 March 2013, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. During the first Climate Week in 2012 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

You can now register for your organisation to take part in the Climate Week Challenge, Britain’s biggest ever environmental competition, where over 130,000 people participate and entries are judged by celebrities and it is completely free to take part.

The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel has contained figures such Tony Juniper, Special Advisor to the Prince of Wales Charities International Sustainability Unit, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London in the past.

The Climate Week Swap is a new element to the campaign for 2013, highlighting the positive impact that swapping clothes, books, toys, DVDs and other items can have on our environment. Run a swap event in your school, community group or workplace to save resources from going to landfill. All those who register a Swap event will be entered into a draw to win a swap with a celebrity.

There are a number of other elements to the campaign. Bubble and Squeak for Climate Week is encouraging people to make the food that they eat a part of the solution to climate change. They can do this by joining in the call to action of eating a low carbon meal during Climate Week, either by using up leftovers to make Bubble and Squeak or by cooking food made from local ingredients or less meat and dairy.
The Climate Week Pub Quiz will be run in hundreds of pubs and workplaces.

Start thinking about how you can showcase your organisation’s sustainability initiatives and engage your members in Climate Week 2013. There are loads of ways you can take part! Check out our ‘Things to do Guide’ for how you can get involved or create you own event promoting positive solutions to climate change for Climate Week 2013!

Whatever you are doing, make sure you register your event on the Climate Week website and help to create a national movement for change.

Keep a look out for news on how Dorset Energized plan to celebrate Climate Week, and for more information on Climate Week or to register your event go to www.climateweek.com.



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